Changing views of Lincoln, from Garrison

In 1861 in at least two different letters, Garrison is sure that Lincoln is pro-slavery:  Lincoln “shapes his course of policy in accordance with pro-slavery views” … “He has evidently not a drop of anti-slavery blood in his veins and he seems incapable of uttering a humane or generous sentiment respecting the enslaved millions in our land.”   Comes 1864, and after attending the Republican National Convention , and after a White House interview with the President he writes:  “There is no mistake about it in regard to Mr. Lincoln’s desire to do all that he can see it right and possible to do to uproot slavery, and give fair play to the emancipated …I was much pleased with his spirit, and the familiar and candid way in which he unbosomed himself.”   Then in February, 1865 he writes to the President:  “God save you, and bless you abundantly. As an instrument in his hands, you have done a mighty work for the freedom of millions who have so long pined in bondage in our land  — nay, for the freedom of all mankind.”

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